Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

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Aleuromancer
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:24 pm

Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

Post by Aleuromancer » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:50 pm

From 1995-2001, I worked for the federal government, then moved to work for state government. I am vested, so I left money in the Thrift Savings Plan, even though I no longer able to contribute to it. I recall there was something about once you are vested, the government puts in an additional 1% each year. Is that 1% added only if you are presently employed by the feds, or does it occur even when you are no longer working for the federal government?

A few years ago, I had a friend suggest I should check what is in my federal pension fund, in case there is money there I can get at and roll it over into something else. Is it possible to check on what is in that pension fund (where would I look or who would I ask), and would I actually be able to take it out, or would it even be smart to do so?

mxs
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:54 pm

Re: Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

Post by mxs » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:08 pm

TSP is 1% only while you work for the federal government, and could have been up to 5% matching if you contributed. There have been recent changes to the TSP (for the better) about taking money out. I would research those and the funds available before you transfer money out.

For the pension, you would have been in FERS. I would look up FERS and the associated info. I could be wrong, but I don't think they let you take a lump sum instead of your retirement. I know that a lot of places that do allow for that often only give you 90 days to make that election.

stan1
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:10 pm

The automatic 1% TSP contribution is based on your salary so if you had no salary there is no automatic contribution.

Check this website for info on FERS contributions for former employees:
https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services ... employees/

Do you have more than 5 years of creditable service? If so you can claim a pension at age 62. Otherwise you can get the FERS contributions withheld from your paycheck returned to you. Note payments into FERS and contributions to TSP are two separate things.

Helo80
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

Post by Helo80 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:31 pm

Aleuromancer wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:50 pm
A few years ago, I had a friend suggest I should check what is in my federal pension fund, in case there is money there I can get at and roll it over into something else. Is it possible to check on what is in that pension fund (where would I look or who would I ask), and would I actually be able to take it out, or would it even be smart to do so?


Sounds like you should still have a TSP fund. Have you not been getting literature once a quarter from TSP? Yes, it's definitely worth checking out and possibly rolling some of the money out. But, if you empty your TSP account to a balance of less than $250 or so, your account will be closed and then you will no longer have access to the TSP. TSP does have the G-fund which is a unique fund in that you will not ever lose money in it.

Anyways, since you have six years of credited service, you should still have FERS eligibility.

Helo80
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

Post by Helo80 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:35 pm

mxs wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:08 pm
For the pension, you would have been in FERS. I would look up FERS and the associated info. I could be wrong, but I don't think they let you take a lump sum instead of your retirement. I know that a lot of places that do allow for that often only give you 90 days to make that election.

I have never heard of lump-sum payouts on FERS either. I think if you do UNDER 5 years of service, you can rollover the FERS payroll deductions into an IRA... but I'm not sure how often people do that or what the exact procedure is. For OVER 5 years like OP, I think you have to apply for FERS retirement benefit like every other fed retiree.

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TierArtz
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:33 pm

Re: Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

Post by TierArtz » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:42 pm

This link should get you started tracking down access to your TSP account: https://www.tsp.gov/sitehelp/content/ac ... index.html

OpattyD
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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:12 pm

Re: Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

Post by OpattyD » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:47 pm

When you become vested they contribute 1% after taxes (I think) towards FERS pension. I had 5 years in and when I left the govt, I requested to pull that money. Got a nice check for around $6-7K. Check out third section down.

https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services ... employees/

Snezz1e
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Questions about the TSP and federal pension I should have asked long ago

Post by Snezz1e » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:59 pm

If you are vested into the FERS pension you shouldn't be requesting a refund of your contributions. Your FERS contribution was only .8% of your salary with the government adding an additional 13.2% to the pension fund. You only get your .8% back when you request a refund. Even if you get a 10% annual return investing that money over 30 years it still wouldn't be enough to buy an annuity to have the same payout as the FERS payout at 62.

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